By Ilissa Miller, CEO of iMiller Public Relations, President of NEDAS

There’s no doubt that technology advancements are accelerating. With access to more affordable networking solutions, companies are embracing technology and innovations such as cloud, software-defined solutions, block chain, artificial intelligence and more to manage and optimize their businesses. With our communications infrastructure more robust than ever before, (and 5G promising even greater speeds and capabilities for our wireless devices), applications and solutions leveraging the network are being developed and introduced to the market fast and furiously.  Unfortunately, the speed of innovation will only last a few more years as the utilization of our network infrastructure will eventually be strained due to the applications in development that simply require more (bandwidth, connectivity, reach). And it’s not just the infrastructure that will be taxed but also the workforce and skillsets required to manage the infrastructure.

Think about it from this perspective: Networking, as we know it, has advanced considerably in the last 10 years. It was only 10 years prior to that that the adoption of the “internet” for business was initially introduced. For consideration, our infrastructure has been evolving over the past 25 years to what it is today. This means that the people, knowledge and know-how behind this extraordinary communications infrastructure development are, with all due respect, coming to the twilight of their careers and many have already retired (including folks that have the institutional knowledge of covering this industry, such as Carol Wilson who recently retired from Light Reading). This skillset shortage, which was addressed at our NEDAS NYC event in September 2018 by Carrie Charles, CEO of BroadStaff, will eventually affect the way companies manage their networks and the applications that run over them.

As a result of the expected changes to our industry in the coming five to 10 years, I wanted to share information about five companies that are changing the communications landscape as we enter the new year.

  1. Aqua Comms

Aqua Comms makes this list due to the most modern and robust transatlantic cable system currently in service and its expansion and redundant route (North Atlantic loop) underway.

In 1858, more than 160 years ago, the first undersea cable transmission across the Atlantic Ocean took place between North America and Europe.  An industry veteran, Mehmet Akcin is preparing to launch “Network Atlas” to showcase active and future subsea systems—which typically have a lifespan of 25 years. With the majority of the transatlantic systems close to aging out, Aqua Comm’s cable is one that remains the industry’s leading cable with nearly 25 years still left and its second-route almost complete, which will make Aqua Comms’ network the most modern north Atlantic system available.

  1. Chayora

Sitting on the opposite side of the world, Chayora’s Data Center Campus solutions in China are not only changing the communications landscape but is also providing companies a go to market solution to enable them to reach over 1.4 billion people.  According to Worldometers, China’s Population is 75% larger than the U.S. population (which sits over 327 Million). This means the opportunity for companies seeking to reach this market, which is growing in sophistication, is tremendous. Chayora focuses on business-enablement—not just providing highly scalable and accessible data center campuses in China, particularly in Tianjin (covering Beijing) and Shanghai, but also providing the ability to get businesses operating effectively in the market.

With an additional focus on helping companies, not just with their technical operations, but also to provide business advisory and go to market expertise, Chayora is dedicated to helping companies reach and serve the largest country in the world.

  1. DC BLOX

Next on our list is DC BLOX, a company expanding the network edge throughout the Southeastern United States with distributed data centers in Atlanta, Birmingham, Chattanooga, and Huntsville along with various market expansion plans underway.

In one of DC BLOX’s markets, Huntsville, Facebook announced they were building a $750M facility. According to an article by Data Center Knowledge, Huntsville is also a very robust and fast growing tech sector. Looking at the markets DC BLOX serves, there is very little (if any) overlap to other companies serving the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern markets. Furthermore, with partnerships with government entities in Birmingham, Chattanooga and Huntsville, DC BLOX is dedicated to community enablement, education and opportunities that advance business opportunities positively impacting the local economy. Communications infrastructure enablement along with a commitment to community engagement is a win-win in my book.

  1. PacketFabric

If you read the beginning of this article then you know the perils the industry faces as the educated workforce advances in age. Enterprise businesses will ultimately become the most affected since finding experienced and knowledgeable network engineers will be a challenge, therefore, providing an alternative way to buy, design, provision and manage network solutions is required. PacketFabric is the industry’s only software-defined purpose-built network. Solving the complexities associated with designing, buying and managing network solutions for the enterprise, PacketFabric has built a one-of-a-kind network as a service platform that can enable companies to implement custom network solutions directly from their desktops.

Through PacketFabric’s platform, companies can purchase network solutions from 1Gbps to 100Gbps and beyond, managing bandwidth on-demand based on a variety of factors while interconnecting with 1,000’s of unique networks through a single connection. With flexible options such as pay for what you use, dynamic provisioning, and security features, PacketFabric is revolutionizing the way companies buy network services while enabling the future of our communications infrastructure to flourish.

  1. ZenFi Networks

Certainly not last, ZenFi Networks has developed innovative fiber architecture capable of handling the tremendous capacity and fiber requirements of Mobile Network Operators and to support wireless densification and 5G deployments.

Their custom-built fronthaul fiber cable, duct assembly, backhaul and distributed colocation model enables the  successful deployment of a truly 5G capable communications infrastructure network in the New York and New Jersey metro region.

Their unique network architecture centers around a custom built fronthaul fiber network, interconnected at distributed colocation facilities, with a high capacity backhaul cable to move traffic from command and control back to the core. The result is a highly accessible, dense fiber network that delivers high capacity, low latency connectivity to the edge.

ZenFi Networks offers a great opportunity for hyperscalers, enterprises as well as data center, network and service providers to get the most reliable and robust network connectivity in one of most important markets in the world.

Have a company that you think is a mover and shaker in the communications infrastructure landscape that will change the future in 2019 and beyond? We want to know. Submit your suggestion here.